Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

Death to IE6

Posted on 27 August 2008 60 comments

Article illustration for Death to IE6

Today – 27th August – is the day that Internet Explorer 6 was unleashed unto the world seven years ago. Seven years ago!

M. Dave Auayan thinks it’s high time we stopped supporting this horrid little piece of software and has launched the IE Death March, a site dedicated to discontinuing IE6 support by March 2009. He’s listing sites that have stopped / will stop IE6 support; little pieces of the web you may have heard of such as Facebook, Mobile Me, and 37signals, to name but three.

“It came out a few weeks before the Twin Towers fell. It came out before the Nintendo GameCube. It came out before the first iPod.”

For more information, there’s an article on Wisdump, which offers some further perspective.

Personally, I’ve offered limited IE6 support on this site since I released it last year, but in general I’ve always catered for IE6 when it comes to client projects. Not any more. As of now, I’m no longer including it in the standard project scope. If a client wants IE6 support, it’ll be an optional, charged-for extra. The new version of elliotjaystocks.com (in the works) will most definitely not be supporting it, except for the inclusion of a “you need to upgrade your browser” message.

60 comments

  1. Jesse Vlasveld

    Jesse Vlasveld

    27 August 2008 @ 06:46PM #

    I hear you man. I’ve been working around IE6 for two full days now, and stuff still ain’t the way I want it to be.
    Cant neglect it at this site though, 15% of the visitors use IE6, could be potential customers.

  2. Kai Chan Vong

    Kai Chan Vong

    27 August 2008 @ 06:47PM #

    Here here! For personal stuff and freelancing I totally agree.

    Sadly… until I switch jobs I wont be able to do the same :) And I’m betting lots of people working on hugely mainstream sites wont be able to do the same for about a year or so… % of IE6 users are still way too high.

    For me it’s 50% of an 80% IE browser split

  3. Rick

    Rick

    27 August 2008 @ 06:47PM #

    Thank god! Like you I have been offering IE6 support on client projects, but haven’t supported it on my site for a while. In fact you can’t use my site with IE6 I have a big dive overlay telling people the errors of their ways :P

    I think having an optional extra of IE6 compatibility is a good idea when putting together a quote for a site. Might have to borrow that one…

    Rick

  4. Ian Fenn

    Ian Fenn

    27 August 2008 @ 06:47PM #

    Reviewing some existing client websites, between 10-15% of visits are with IE6, so for those clients at least, it’s too soon.

    All the best,


    Ian

  5. johnnyh

    johnnyh

    27 August 2008 @ 06:49PM #

    While I agree completely it is a pain . . .

    But the statistics show that there are still well over 40% of people on the internet using IE6 which means that by not catering for it your ignoring a 1/3rd of the potential people out there.

    I bet you still put accessibility features into a site and I think the numbers of people who use those features are very much less than a third of the internet population. So really not dealing with IE6 doesn’t make sense in terms of giving your potential audience the best possible experience.

    I too can’t stand the browser, but it is a part of many people’s web experience.

  6. Rick Hurst

    Rick Hurst

    27 August 2008 @ 06:53PM #

    You must remember that millions of corporate and government users will be using IE6 for years to come because you can’t install IE7 on windows 2000, which many companies will stick with. Degraded support yes – but actively excluding users is a bad idea, and “you must ugrade/ use something else” messages are patronising, especially to those without the choice – back to the bad old days of sites displaying “best viewed using netscape 4” messages all over the place. thumbs down. IE6 does suck royally though, snd charging to support it is a great idea if your clients will pay.

  7. Jesse Vlasveld

    Jesse Vlasveld

    27 August 2008 @ 06:55PM #

    I like the fact though that the vast majority of IE6 users are using an illegal copy of Windows XP. As it doesn’t let you update to IE7 without validating.

    Thats alot of illegal Windows browsing around when it really is ~40% of the internet users.

  8. Simon Clayson

    Simon Clayson

    27 August 2008 @ 06:55PM #

    I currently state “IE6 supported, but certain elements may be changed slightly”. Not sure how I feel about feeding the old beast with a text only sheet yet, but it depends on who the target audience is for a site… A judgment call.

  9. Jonathan E

    Jonathan E

    27 August 2008 @ 06:56PM #

    Add in my vote as well. A colleague of mine recently opined about whether or not IE6 should be supported. Here are some of his thoughts:

    “… as clients demand more innovation, we need the platform to innovate on …”
    “… It’s a bit like Sony continuing to make all their films available on VHS, because people still have tape, rather than try and sell them DVD players – it’s crazy! …

    Something to chew on.

  10. Kai Chan Vong

    Kai Chan Vong

    27 August 2008 @ 06:58PM #

    Totally agree with that if you’re a freelancer to charge extra for all that pain, however for most mainstream designers the % is so much higher than that. I totally agree with Jesse Vlasveld when he says 40% is around the position of IE6 users.

    It’s so important to try and educate users the latest browser is the best for their experience with conditional IE6 comments.

  11. Shaun Barnes

    Shaun Barnes

    27 August 2008 @ 07:01PM #

    I hate IE6 with a passion, I think it’s ridiculous that so many people still use it when Firefox/Safari and even IE7 are all free and 1000 times better.

    Of course there are many companies with closed systems that can’t update without major system changes but that can’t be the 40% market share that IE6 still appears to have.

    Unfortunately though, there’s no way I could get my clients to agree to alienate potentially up to 40% of their target market.

    Until usage drops to a much smaller percentage, say under 10% I think the majority of web designers will have to support it.

  12. Sam Brown

    Sam Brown

    27 August 2008 @ 07:02PM #

    I’ve not be supporting IE6 out of the door for a long time now, on the rare occasion that a client requests it, absolutely will I do it and charge on top of for it. Definitely the right thing to do, we have to make a move at some point to stop supporting this legacy piece of software.

    Not sure where earlier commenters got their numbers from, but 40% of people on the internet are not using IE6, certainly on some sites the majority might be but internet-wide it hasn’t been that high for a couple of years.

  13. mcaulay

    mcaulay

    27 August 2008 @ 07:03PM #

    I hear you…i REALLY do, ie6 is the single constant PITA on each project I work on. It would be great to just say “bugger it, I’m not supporting it anymore” until you deal with organizations who have no internal control over their web browser, we’ve dealt with 2 companies lately who’s whole IT “service” is outsourced to a 3rd party and on educating our clients that they’re possibly being short changed by afore mentioned 3rd party, even being put at risk by not upgrading to the more secure ie7, they contact their IT people to be given a string of reasons excuses as to why they can’t upgrade and that they’re the specialists etc etc….its a hard fight which ultimately means we need to continue to provide ie6 support until these “specialists” get their acts together or get replaced…hopefully very soon! I actually had a rant about this on my blog a while back: why you should upgrade to ie7

  14. Carsten

    Carsten

    27 August 2008 @ 07:03PM #

    Until Windows users can download IE 7 without all the genuine windows advantage stuff we will probably not see much of a change in the short-term.

  15. Tim

    Tim

    27 August 2008 @ 07:05PM #

    Those outdated IE6 browsers are still out there… but the best way to make users move forward is to cut off support. I have upgraded the users in my office to Firefox 3, but also updated their IE to 7, with a strong encouragement to make friendly with Mozilla.

    I encourage all to do the same. And thanks to those willing to risk a few clients in order to encourage a bit of 21st century technology updating. Consider it the “silent treatment” of sorts.

  16. Dan

    Dan

    27 August 2008 @ 07:09PM #

    Strictly speaking the wording shouldn’t be “support for IE6”. It should be “Support for numpties who ignore the yellow shield in their system tray and/or don’t understand the concept of progress and/or don’t like a pleasant browsing experience.”

    Working in tech support has taught me that it’s all well and good cutting out support for IE6 if your target audience are tech savvy but if your bread and butter is comprised of average Joe mechanic using his Windows ME machine in his filthy garage or middle aged office worker who has a hard time dialing a 7 digit phone number, let alone grasping the concept of save as… it’s an entirely different story.

    It’s only a matter of time before they turn to their equally dim-witted friend (who may or may not be in the market for a site themselves) and says “Check out my new website” only to discover it looks like toss to them. To compound that disaster, they won’t see it as their PC or browser sucks and needs replacing, they’ll inevitably see it as the website they’ve just paid an arm and a leg for is broken. Then you’ll have them angry and on the blower in a New York minute.

    Of course a talented designer and PR man such as yourself, Elliot, won’t have a problem with this. You’ll be able to see far enough ahead to avoid things like this… but I know many won’t. Just a word of caution to the less experienced designer. Putting in the extra work to support IE 6 may well be worth it as it could avoid a potential marketing disaster.

  17. Michael Montgomery

    Michael Montgomery

    27 August 2008 @ 07:12PM #

    I work for a Fortune 50 company, and am one of those “millions of corporate … users will be using IE6 for years to come because you can’t install IE7 on windows 2000”.

    They say we’re scheduled to get new work computers with Vista by “sometime in 2009”.

    Thank God for admin rights & Firefox.

  18. Aaron Irizarry

    Aaron Irizarry

    27 August 2008 @ 07:15PM #

    I agree… i have been pushing to just get away from ie6 for a while, hopefully everyone sticks to their guns and we can move on with our lives :)

  19. Jason Beaird

    Jason Beaird

    27 August 2008 @ 07:17PM #

    We can start the revolution on our personal sites, but for client work I, like the groundhog, predict at least another year of IE6 Winter.

  20. Mark Perkins

    Mark Perkins

    27 August 2008 @ 07:18PM #

    Damn, I wish that we could do that where I work.

    I totally agree with everything you say, but with about 40% of our clients still on IE6 they would not be happy if we told them we wouldn’t support their browser out of the box. Most of them use IE6 because their IT team don’t want the extra hassle of upgrading.

    I think when IE8 comes out we will be justified in throwing IE6 out of the standard spec.

    Keep us informed on how your client’s react – it is time we stamped out IE6 but I think most bigger agencies will be forced to support it for a little while yet.

  21. Dennis Bjørn Petersen

    Dennis Bjørn Petersen

    27 August 2008 @ 07:24PM #

    As Michael says many corporate users are still forced to use IE6.

    A lot of companies still base their applications on IE6 and can’t/won’t upgrade to either FF or IE7.

    I’m sure hot shot designers can afford to stop support of IE6, but I’m also certain that many upcoming designers can’t.

    Of course since many companies wouldn’t want their customers to get a bad impression of their company/webpage, they would pay extra to get IE6 support…could this be a small cash cow? ;)

  22. Nemesis Design

    Nemesis Design

    27 August 2008 @ 07:33PM #

    Finally! This process should have begun before.
    Let’s hope we’ll soon never waste again our time making hacks or different style sheets for IE6.

  23. Kean

    Kean

    27 August 2008 @ 07:33PM #

    Ending support for IE6 would be awesome but it’s a bit impractical when talking to some clients and trying to explain the situaution of why they’re website doesn’t look right.

    Supporting IE6 can be painful but so long as you get past the fact that your site needs to render perfectly in IE6 you can usually get around some of the bigger issues with things like conditional comments.

  24. Dan

    Dan

    27 August 2008 @ 07:43PM #

    Dennis makes a very good point there. It will be a damn sight easier for well established companies and designers to just stop supporting IE6 because at worst it will cost them a handful of customers but the time saved in development would mean that they still came out on top. Not to mention, their reputation will mean that there will be plenty of other clients to fill the void… if there even is one.

    Smaller one-man-bands will have a much harder time. The client that they piss off by not supporting IE6 might be one of only a few clients they get a year and thus might eliminate a pretty big chunk of their income.

  25. Grant

    Grant

    27 August 2008 @ 08:23PM #

    On the whole, I think it’s definitely time for a pro-active movement away from IE6 support. I get tired of people whining about how “it’s just not time yet” or how they think they’ll “lose business to big corporations who are stuck with IE6” – those are just empty arguments if you’re not backing them with data related to that situation.

    Elliot (and others) have made a fairly strong statement: death to IE6, but that doesn’t mean the death has to be overnight.

    Stop whining and start taking a realistic, case-by-case approach to your projects. I’ve been doing this myself for over a year now and have found, based on stats and target audiences that virtually none of my client sites warrant IE6 support.

    Spending our time worrying about what corporations have, or have not done, or obsessing over old stale data that’s not directly tied to the site you’re building does you (and the industry as a whole) no good. Learn to think about each project individually instead of automatically supporting an archaic browser because somewhere out there, somebody might use that piece of junk. With that argument you might as well also support IE5, IE4, and Netscape.

    You might be surprised by what you learn. I found most of my clients’ sites barely even get 1-2% of their visits from IE6, not the 15% or 40% others seem to see.

  26. Christoph

    Christoph

    27 August 2008 @ 10:14PM #

    First, I think it is the best way, as Elliot mentioned above, to see IE6 as a charged-for extra.
    It is much more work to built a site for this poor old browser, and if a client want it done, he has to pay for it.
    And clients begin to think about it if they have to pay more, or say it vice versa: if they can save money.

    But the biggest problem is not the client, but the client of your client:
    If you have two online shops, one working fine in your IE6, one with poor support for IE6, where will you buy?

    And a second problem are those people, that are finally – afters years of working with IE6 – familiar with this browser. They don’t want to change. They feel comfortable. For them, you won’t find any reason to change.

    This fight is unwinnable, I guess, at least the next 1 or 2 years.
    Annoying.

  27. Dan

    Dan

    27 August 2008 @ 10:38PM #

    I just give users a pop-up telling them that their browser is out of date and doesn’t support the required technology to view the site, and then send them to the ie7 download page.

  28. Anthony Bruno

    Anthony Bruno

    27 August 2008 @ 11:06PM #

    I feel that supporting IE6 is out of the question unless a client is willing to pay for it.

    Really the basis behind this call is due to the fact that the publisher, Microsoft, is no longer supporting the browser and has included a forced updated to IE7.

  29. Adam

    Adam

    27 August 2008 @ 11:16PM #

    “Strictly speaking the wording shouldn’t be “support for IE6″. It should be “Support for numpties who ignore the yellow shield in their system tray and/or don’t understand the concept of progress and/or don’t like a pleasant browsing experience.””

    Who the hell has automatic updates on? DISABLE Auto Updates and its crappy “ooh you need to update” messages; “Change the Way Windows Warns me” – Dont warn me plox!

    :)

    IE6 Blows; but unfortunately alot of people still use it; ALOT! I bet theres more IE6 users than their is IE7+FF combined!

  30. David

    David

    27 August 2008 @ 11:59PM #

    I am firmly – though reluctantly – in the continued support for IE camp. But mostly just because most of the sites I’ve worked on in the past few months have not been bleeding edge stuff so it’s pretty easy to make them work in IE or at least have them degrade gracefully.

    The only time I would drop support for IE6 outright is when a site just simply can’t work in that browser.

    Just my 2p

  31. Pete

    Pete

    28 August 2008 @ 01:01AM #

    I too agree that it is about time it went.
    Recently (when asked my thoughts on the subject) I’ve likened the dilemma to that of leaded petrol.

    If leaded petrol hadn’t be withdrawn we’d all still be driving round polluting the atmosphere as we go. IE6 then, is the lead posion of the Internet. By big sites withdrawing support & top developers surcharging for IE6 implimentation we will (hopefully) see it fade away.

    Fully support your move Elliot

  32. Brendan Falkowski

    Brendan Falkowski

    28 August 2008 @ 01:10AM #

    Been thinking of quitting IE6 development too, there’s almost enough steam being blown around to justify it. Love the header graphic.

  33. Neil Dennis

    Neil Dennis

    28 August 2008 @ 01:22AM #

    Totally see where you are coming from Elliot! I think exactly the same on my blog – the more we approach this subject, the less we have to support IE6! Keep up the great work.

  34. James McEwan

    James McEwan

    28 August 2008 @ 02:35AM #

    IE6 and in some cases 5.5 still make up quite a few of the hits to our website at work.
    I think part of the problem is that some people view their pc like having a tv, get one once and that’s all they need to do and just look at the confusion over the analogue tv switch off.

  35. Davin

    Davin

    28 August 2008 @ 03:40AM #

    I like what Facebook is showing people.

    I stopped supporting IE6 with my redesign last year – they get a chunky version instead.

  36. Darren Hoyt

    Darren Hoyt

    28 August 2008 @ 05:15AM #

    Elliot, glad to hear you’re parting ways with IE6 to some extent! Earlier this year my company changed its standard contract to say it only supports whatever browser versions are current at the time of the signing of the contract. A bit risky, but so far no negative feedback or repercussions.

    Admittedly, in reality, we still do testing and take things on a case-by-case basis, and if a client’s audience will clearly be IE6 users, we make arrangements. But we try not to make blanket promises.

    As for those unfortunate enough to be working in closed environments where upgrades aren’t available, I still don’t think
    the breakage in IE6 (spacing, floating) prevents you from using a site, does it? In my experience, layouts might get wonky, but sites are not outright unusable. And if you’re already an IE6 user, certainly not a day goes by where you don’t browse a half-dozen wonky websites.

  37. Dave Child

    Dave Child

    28 August 2008 @ 12:00PM #

    I think it’s fine to not “support” a browser – as in, not spend time ensuring everything lines up perfectly in it. I don’t think it’s ok to block or nag users of a browser, which seems to be what some people are suggesting.

    If anyone wants to use IE6, that’s their choice. We’ve been down the road of refusing entry to sites to people using their browser of choice before. It’s not the way the web is supposed to work.

    Strip out or reduce CSS for IE6 if you must, and add a note explaining that the user is seeing a simplified version of the site. Or design to standards and ignore IE6 altogether.

  38. Gerasimos

    Gerasimos

    28 August 2008 @ 12:14PM #

    I would really happy to see ie6 getting out of the way but that’s not possible. Yet at least. Not sure if it’s a good think to force people to upgrade. It’s a matter of choice. Letting them know though about the benefits of upgrading could be a could thing. I don’t see though any of the high traffic blogs or websites having any dedicated posts on this issue.

  39. Josh Stodola

    Josh Stodola

    28 August 2008 @ 11:23PM #

    Good for you Elliot, I stopped catering to IE6 users over a year ago.

    johnnyh: it makes perfect sense. Web developers are in control. If we band together and wave our middle finger at IE6, those user will have to upgrade, or have miserable online experiences. Continuing to support IE6 makes no sense. That’s like calling customer service and bitching them out because their phone system does not support rotary phones. Move on, and quit being part of the problem!

  40. kevadamson

    kevadamson

    30 August 2008 @ 05:55AM #

    A few points to consider:

    IE6 will die in 2010 when Microsoft ends its support for SP2.
    I’d say that’s a realistic deadline when considering the needs of large companies updating systems etc.

    I will continue to degrade up until stats tell me otherwise.

    Firefox had set the cogs in motion for change, but this change will take time. I do my bit in educating clients as much as I can and ‘spreading the word’, but the transitional period we are in has a set time (“planned obsolescence”, if you will), and myself dropping support will not speed this up.

    The message was sent. It’s been received. Now we most be patient and allow the change to happen.

    I see no logical advantage from any perspective in charging my clients extra for IE6 support. I work based on stats and try and keep a realistic grasp on the web environment I design and develop in.

    Also, people seem to have lost the plot about what accessibility is all about. If you have, say, 20% of visitors who land on your site in ie6, and you have abandoned support making it difficult for them to access the content, well, that’s irresponsible. Accessibility isn’t about having the most up to date CSS elements, it’s about delivering content in a responsible and approprate fashion given the web environment we exist in as developers and users today.

    I say base your support decisions on stats (and ie6 users are dropping by the month by the ‘process’ that is now under way), and not by some idealistic view of how the web ‘should’ be.

  41. Lamaesoteric

    Lamaesoteric

    01 September 2008 @ 06:52PM #

    Death to IE6 for certain, it’s totally crazy. I am amazed. Although we can not say death to IE (let’s hope 8 will be much better, 7 is far better than 6) because Firefox still have some gaps regarding web form application and programming stuff….. I’m a hardcore code programmer, I usually go for Firefox3 and sometimes I am astonished because I received irrational, illogical and impossible errors. Firefox is very good regarding design, it has a wonderful approach on css and your websites is a great example here. But when it is about complex web form based database app I rather switch to IE7. They can make so much better… it’s not all all that hard!

    well done website, great job!

  42. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    02 September 2008 @ 02:28PM #

    Wow. Thanks for all the responses, guys. There are some really interesting discussions going on here.

    To everyone who cited this “40%” figure: whether or not this percentage is accurate, it relates to the usage of the entire web, and that varies massively from website to website. To give you an obvious example, IE users only account for 14% of my visitors, according to Mint. Of those, 10% are on IE7, while only 4% are on IE6. That’sone tenth of the 40% figure being banded around, which goes to improve that it’d be entirely inaccurate to apply it to a site like this one.

    What this basically points to is that sites should be treated individually. You’re absolutely right to say that it’d be ludicrous to drop support IE6 for a government body website, which is almost certainly going to get viewed on Windows 2000 machines by internal staff. But on your personal portfolio site that’s aimed squarely at web-savvy fellow designers? Of course you can drop it!

    So if we’re treated every site on a case-by-case basis, where does this leave us? There’s certainly no definitive answer. But I would say that the “charge-if-you-want-IE6-support” method I’m opting for is something you can apply across any kind of site. At the end of the day, it is extra work for you as a designer / developer, and educating the client about deprecated technology is a positive move forward. IE6 is never going to die unless people like us apply this kind of pressure.

    @ Johnny H:

    “I bet you still put accessibility features into a site and I think the numbers of people who use those features are very much less than a third of the internet population.”

    That’s certainly true in a lot of cases, and raises a good point about where our priorities lie. Catering for IE6 can be an important part of your accessibility responsibilities, I admit; therefore it’s important to weigh up those various responsibilities on a site-by-site basis. Similarly…

    @ Kev Adamson:

    “Accessibility isn’t about having the most up to date CSS elements, it’s about delivering content in a responsible and approprate fashion given the web environment we exist in as developers and users today.”

    Well said. Some people get confused about what accessibility actually entails.

  43. Ryan Townsend

    Ryan Townsend

    02 September 2008 @ 02:41PM #

    I would still like to know why Microsoft don’t just use Gecko or Webkit, they are both cross platform. I can’t seem to grasp why Microsoft would go to the effort of creating their own rendering engine when they [probably] don’t make any profit out of it (if someone could clarify that would be great).

    If MS were leaders in their field then that would be understandable to code their own engine, but come on, only CSS 2.1 support in IE8? Get with the program! They should be aiming for covering everything Webkit and Gecko do from CSS 3 too!

    We are not giving up IE6 support altogether at my work, but we are charging increasing wads of money for IE6 compatibility.

  44. Andi Farr

    Andi Farr

    02 September 2008 @ 03:08PM #

    There’s certainly no definitive answer. But I would say that the “charge-if-you-want-IE6-support” method I’m opting for is something you can apply across any kind of site."

    I currently work in-house at a medium-sized company which deals largely with the government – having read the (excellent) comments here, I went and checked out our visitor browser stats. Sitting pretty right between the two extremes claimed here, IE6 still accounts for somewhere around 25% of our traffic. Obviously not time to stop supporting the old dog yet.

    As I’m in-house anyway and only running the one set of sites, this isn’t really a problem – it was always part of the deal and the sites themselves were built with an eye on IE6 compatibility. But it does occur to me that saying ’I’m going to be charging extra to deal with IE6’ is a semantic leap (rather than one of process). I mean, don’t we already charge for that? At the moment it’s surely factored into the costs at the beginning.

    To return to the example of my current employer – if I were working for them on a freelance or agency basis, how would it be different now? Obviously dropping IE6 support is out of the question, as that risks alienating 25% of their userbase. So instead, I’m supplying them with web services including IE6 support. My question is, how does this change anything? I can’t charge them differently for doing what I would have done anyway, prior to dropping IE6 support.

    Not trying to be difficult or anything, but I don’t think this’ll make a huge difference to me in the short term. Still, I’m glad the discussion is happening!

  45. Bilal Çınarlı

    Bilal Çınarlı

    02 September 2008 @ 03:10PM #

    Unfortunately, i am still supporting ie6 in the web sites because most of the users in turkey using ie6 and they turned off the auto update feature in windows (ftw!!!), but luckily, in my content management systems, i am not supporting ie6.

  46. Alex

    Alex

    02 September 2008 @ 03:23PM #

    I think the best approach is to say that as standard you build sites for the latest version of the browser, and the previous version – that way when IE8 comes out, you can legitimately move from an IE6 support model to an IE7 support model without seeming like you’re taking something away from clients.

  47. kevadamson

    kevadamson

    02 September 2008 @ 04:05PM #

    I can’t get my head around the ‘charging extra’ thing also.

    Let’s look at this from a business perspective:

    Provider (A) can produce a website for £2000.00 with no support for IE6 (this comes at an optional cost of £500.00)

    Provider (B) has a similar pricing model to (A) and costs the project out at £2500.00 (but supports all leading browsers based on aggregate stats – this is a new website so no previous stats are available)

    So the client could save £500 if they goes for for provider (A), but if they asks what the advantages are in real terms for this saving, what do you say?

    - “You’ll make my life easier as a developer”
    - “You’ll be helping me towards my goal of speeding up the inevitable demise of IE6 for the greater good of the web as a whole”

    And the disadvantages?

    - “You’ll lose potential traffic / enquiries / sales”
    - “You’ll annoy visitors with messages telling them to upgrade when perhaps they can’t because of permissions etc.”

    It seems stacked in favour of your needs rather than that of the needs of the client, which is a dangerous approach to take IMO.

    I think the only case where you could offer IE6 support as an optional is in the redevelopment of a website that has IE6 visitor traffic of around 2% (and then you need to look at what this 2% is in real numbers, 2% of 1,000,000 suddenly looks quite considerable and relevant).

    I commend Elliot and others for their efforts in making the web development community and users aware that IE6 is utter ‘dog-egg’ over the years. But its demise has a set date governed by considerations that are out of developers control, of that I have no doubt, so charging across all projects for IE6 support will just cause headaches similar to that of a child saying “Are we there yet?” over and over again in the back seat of a car …

  48. Prashant

    Prashant

    02 September 2008 @ 05:35PM #

    IE6 should have gone a long time ago, it’s amazing how it’s still around.

    Unfortunately, at work we still do support IE6 you won’t believe how many people still use it. If all developers stop supporting IE6 and the public see an incorrectly rendered site it will force them to upgrade, on the other hand that’s losing money and clients, not everyone will be willing to do that.

    Hopefully these campaigns are grabbing the public’s attention, but because of all those using a pirated version of Windows it’s harder for them to upgrade to the next version of IE.

  49. Paul Gendek

    Paul Gendek

    02 September 2008 @ 07:02PM #

    IE6 is still in the loop, unfortunately. Enterprise that won’t upgrade due to cost, and people who can’t afford new computers that meet the requirements of IE7.

  50. Christoph

    Christoph

    03 September 2008 @ 12:41AM #

    @ Kev
    You’re right.

    But on the other hand there must be someone who goes out and tell the truth to the client.
    And if you divide your charge into logical parts and tell your clients what each part is for, you make it more transparent to them. I made the experience that transparence in pricing is very useful and important for clients.
    Imagine – I pick up your example – you as client have only providers of category B and you don’t need support for IE:
    Would they say: Ok, we make it £500 cheaper? I don’t think so.

    Poor IE6 will still join us for a few years, I’m afraid.
    But it is the right sign to tell the clients that support for this poor browser (and his descendents) is an economic factor, for which you have to pay.
    And there are clients out there who appreciate that and who want to bring the web a step forward. Not all clients need support for IE6.

  51. Francis Booth

    Francis Booth

    03 September 2008 @ 06:33AM #

    For wont of not playing to the gallery here: isn’t the web standards movement meant to champion accessibility of content regardless of browser?

    At least IE6 is post box-model hack, and on a good day, with a little hacking, will even display the odd transparent PNG. Plus there’s no need for the clearfix hack, IE6 does it without trying! :)

    Okay, to be honest, I bemoan IE6 as much as the next guy/geek, but the mood of this post and its earlier responses seem to warrant targeting sites to NOT work in IE6, as opposed to trying to make them at least readable.

    Reality-check: take the time needed to get this site working in IE6 for the 4% of users still using it to come here, then balance that against the time spent creating editorial for elliotjaystocks.com.

    At Idea Junction we’re still finding the potential for IE6 users is too high right now to allow us to “move on”. IE6’s death will happen, and is happening, and also I’m glad to hear M$ will drop its support in 2010, but especially in light of that, do we really need to push for its urgent demise?

    Call me an idealist, but can’t we just peddle positively the alternatives? :)

  52. Francis Booth

    Francis Booth

    03 September 2008 @ 06:34AM #

    For wont of not playing to the gallery here: isn’t the web standards movement meant to champion accessibility of content regardless of browser?

    At least IE6 is post box-model hack, and on a good day, with a little hacking, will even display the odd transparent PNG. Plus there’s no need for the clearfix hack, IE6 does it without trying! :)

    Okay, to be honest, I bemoan IE6 as much as the next guy/geek, but the mood of this post and its earlier responses seem to warrant targeting sites to NOT work in IE6, as opposed to trying to make them at least readable.

    Reality-check: take the time needed to get this site working in IE6 for the 4% of users still using it to come here, then balance that against the time spent creating editorial for elliotjaystocks.com.

    At Idea Junction we’re still finding the potential for IE6 users is too high right now to allow us to “move on”. IE6’s death will happen, and is happening, and also I’m glad to hear M$ will drop its support in 2010, but especially in light of that, do we really need to push for its urgent demise?

    Call me an idealist, but can’t we just peddle positively the alternatives? :)

  53. syuxx

    syuxx

    04 September 2008 @ 03:25PM #

    yeah, IE6 really waste our time. haha

  54. Amber Taylor

    Amber Taylor

    06 September 2008 @ 09:49PM #

    Solution: A Code Snippet Campaign

    Let’s Make available on the web some warning snippets for people to put on their sites, and even on social network, and blog pages. A div overlay version perhaps, with a close button. Also some other promo banners or text snippets. The thought being people who don’t know better will be nagged to death across the web or wise up.

    Regular people (non-techie) don’t understand why to not use it, they only know that this site only works in Explorer because of the nasty Active X. People at the bid Corps don’t know what’s up, and that is what I hear all the time from people who don’t know better. So I propose educational marketing via a marketing campaign. So let’s give away some campaign code! Who’s with me?

  55. MrChina

    MrChina

    17 September 2008 @ 03:18AM #

    I run several large commercial websites in China.

    On average IE6 hawks around 60%.

    Facebook not supporting IE6 does them little favors after recently translating to Chinese and soft-entering the market. Vista is fairly unpopular and OS X probably has a smaller share than Linux.

    Mind you, China is the worlds largest internet market and growing at an amazing speed.

    Sorry, but IE6 will be around for years to come. I do appreciate people with enough balls to simply discontinue and tell people to upgrade or go elsewhere. Won’t be doing that with my business though…

    Crossing my fingers for Google Chrome, but then again… Google holds under 20% of search in China. DOH!

  56. Ryan Burney

    Ryan Burney

    24 September 2008 @ 12:17AM #

    Elliot,

    Great heads up – it was refreshing for me to see another designer/developer charging extra for IE6 support. After just a year of doing websites professionally, I decided to do the same.

  57. Adam

    Adam

    24 September 2008 @ 05:18PM #

    “Great heads up – it was refreshing for me to see another designer/developer charging extra for IE6 support.”

    I wonder if he charges extra to code HTML Valid too? Since his blog does not validate nor does Carsonified; I would remove the “Hand coded by Elliot Jay Stocks” from the source – does not do you any favours!

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